News

China Welcomes Annan Visit

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, left, is greeted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during their meeting at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, March 27, 2012.
Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, left, is greeted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during their meeting at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, March 27, 2012.

China says it supports the efforts of international peace envoy Kofi Annan, who is in Beijing to try to persuade Chinese leaders to support his plan on resolving tensions in Syria.

In a sign of how important China sees the ongoing crisis in Syria, one of the country's top leaders, Premier Wen Jiabao, met with Kofi Annan Tuesday in Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters his government welcomes international efforts to resolve the Syria issue peacefully.

He says China wants to work with the international community to play a constructive and active role for what he called the proper peaceful resolution of the Syria situation. He adds that China supports special envoy Annan's “good offices” to resolve the situation, but he stopped short of saying whether Beijing fully supports his Syrian peace plan.

China and Russia have vetoed United Nations resolutions that condemned the Syrian government's crackdown and called for the Syrian president to step down. U.S. officials at a nuclear summit in Seoul said they still want to see Bashar al-Assad leave office, but welcomed the Annan plan as a basis for further talks with China and Russia.

Annan came to Beijing from Moscow, where he received the Russian government's full support for his latest plan, which calls for an immediate U.N.-supervised cease-fire and dialogue between Assad and his critics aimed at political reform.

Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at Hong Kong's City University, says Annan's visit provides an important opportunity for China.

“I think China welcomes this trip because it allows China to have an honorable retreat, so to speak, from its very strong position in refusing to support the resolution on the part of the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria," he stated. "So, the efforts of Kofi Annan supports the position of China and Russia, that the U.N. Security Council should avoid taking military action, at least at this stage.”

China says it has no plans to attend the second Friends of Syria meeting, which is set for April 1 in Istanbul. Cheng says Beijing so far has its own reasons for not wanting to be at that meeting.

“China understands that its position will be an isolated one in the forum, and it will be difficult for China to persuade the major participants to change their stance. And therefore, China believes that it is not wise, it is more appropriate for China NOT to attend the forum,” he said.

At the same time, Cheng says he thinks it is possible that the Kofi Annan mission could achieve some sort of breakthrough that could make it possible for China to attend the international meeting after all. Annan is set to leave China on Wednesday.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs